Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mrs.Henderson was Wonderful!


We watched Mrs. Henderson last night and it was a delightful movie. Never realized it`s a true story! The colours and textures of the 30`s are
amazing and this movie is filled with them. Costumes and fashion and drama and comedy and sadness and tregedy. If you watch this, be sure to also watch the special features which show some of the actual girls who are now quite old and the making of the movie. The acting is superb and Judi Dench is one of my favorite actresses, so I try to see all her movies. The era interests me I think because my Mum was a young girl in England during the war and I`ve listened to so many stories. While my Dad was here growing up on a farm and eating huge meals, my Mum was witnessing blackouts, rationing, bombings and running to the shelters when the alarm went off.

Rebecca Murray at About.com explains this movie well.....

Judi Dench Knew Nothing About Her Character Prior to Reading the “Mrs Henderson Presents” Script: Dench comes from the theatre world but had never heard the story of Laura Henderson, the woman who ran the Windmill Theater. “I only knew about Vivian Van Damm and the Windmill, and the fact that it was amazingly daring but I didn’t know about her at all. And it was Bob [Hoskins] just telling me the story really, because his friends found the programs with suddenly instead of ‘Vivian Van Damm Presents,’ ‘Mrs. Henderson Presents,’ and they followed that path and found out about this woman. It’s worth telling. It was very, very brave, fantastically brave.”

Judi Dench on the Humor in “Mrs Henderson Presents:” A lot of the humor is derived from the fact Mrs Henderson says and does things you don’t expect a woman of her class to ever say or do.

Apart from spectacular vaudeville staging, Judi Dench plays her eccentric, mischievous widow to perfection and the excellent Bob Hoskins is cast surprisingly out of type as a reserved, rather complex, gentlemanly but iron-willed theatre manager. Their argumentative relationship is amusing without being overbearing, as the film is essentially a nicely balanced ensemble piece. Dench's character Laura Henderson turns out to have a very touching motivation for her desire to stage daring musicals for brave young men off to war. Will Young gives an astonishingly strong vocal performance throughout. His mannered vocal style is perfect, and he looks every inch the part on stage. His few brief moments of acting are nothing to blush over either. Kelly Reilly, the star of the naked girlie reviews, is quite simply mesmerising to watch, and ultimately her character is full of pathos.

And if none of that were enough to engage you, you've got an interesting wartime plot, based on true events in the history of the Windmill Theatre, which in current circumstances feels highly topical and relevant for Londoners.

A now back to painting. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

12 comments:

Rowan said...

This sounds just my kind of film - I must look out for it as Judi Dench is one of my favourite actresses too and like you I have a great interest in the period.Oddly enough I don't think I've come across it before. Hope the painting is going well.

Jeanne said...

I will have to rent that movie.
Sounds wonderful.
Happy Sunday!
Love Jeanne ^j^

Janet said...

Thanks for the great review of this movie. I love Judi Dench, too so I'll see if I can rent this one. Sounds like it's right up my alley.

Anonymous said...

I'm fond of Judi Dench too, and thought I'd seen everything of hers. But not this one..!
I loved watching her in 'As time goes by'..the TV series she did, also an earlier one with Michael Williams. her late husband, when they were both much younger..he played a gardener I think?
Was it called 'A fine Romance'..?

Shelley said...

Thanks for the heads up on this one. I love Judy Dench.

Jacran Cottage said...

I really like Judi Dench as well. "As Time Goes By" is one of the shows I can watch over and over I enjoy it so much! I'll have to check this movie out. Thanks for the review.

And yes, Sheila, it was called "A Fine Romance".

I'm interested in that time period as well. My Dad used to tell me stories about when it was little and had to go to the air raid shelters. He was also evacuated to an Aunt's house in South Wales. I enjoyed the British Channel 4 series "The 1930s House" as it was based in the war years. Did you see that?

Jackie in ON

SombraKnight said...

Dame Judi Dench is one of my favorite actors. I also like movies that take place during that period of time. I'll be sure to rent it.
Thank you for the info.

:-)

UKBob said...

I did have a good weekend thanks. Glad you liked the film, I like the period stuff which I think is one reason I enjoy working at the big house although things are not as they used to be in places like this, even here standards have dropped which is a shame but I suppose in other ways its better.

Christine said...

I'm painting, too!

I've been trying to get hold of a copy of Mrs. Henderson~ this has served to build a fire under me!

Christine said...

I'm painting, too!

I've been trying to get hold of a copy of Mrs. Henderson~ this has served to build a fire under me!

Carol said...

Oh sounds like a wodnerful "must see movie", thanks for the tip Tea!

Ms Charity Case said...

I have seen that film, it was the best one I have seen in a long time.I loved Will Young, he was perfect for that role and his singing was totally brilliant. I think it really capture the wartime feel of london and I enjoyed it because it was a true story. If you haven't seen it yet get it out on DVD, and get cozy for a night infront of the TV.
Diane.